The Scarlet Letter And Nature Essay

678 words - 3 pages

Authors use symbolism to help readers understand a deeper meaning in their work. In literature, symbolism provides meaning to writing beyond what the author is actually describing. Symbols strewn about a novel have a great significance to the reader’s understanding of the story as a whole, whether they are blatant or hidden. Hawthorne is able to reveal a deeper meaning to the reader by planning these symbols into integral parts of the story. Hawthorne chooses to use various symbols from nature to help tell his story, two of which are nature and light. These two largely used symbols give the reader better understanding about the natures of the main characters in the novel. The natural world reflects the severities of the actions the characters in the novel commit.
In The Scarlet Letter, the puritan town and the forest surrounding the town represent contrasting behavioral ideas. The town, latent with tradition and strict religious laws, represents a civilization where disobedience leads to severe punishment. The town people are quick to harshly reprimand any defiance of their strict Puritan beliefs. The surrounding forest, on the other hand, is a place where the natural world rules. Society’s rules do not apply in the forest. Human authority has no place among the foliage of natural beings, allowing for alternate identities and behaviors to emerge. When people enter the forest in the novel, their behaviors drastically change. Characters in the novel are free to be their true selves in the forest, without the judgmental eye of society there to watch them.
When Dimmesdale and Hester meet in the woods to discuss running away together they become happy, young lovers once more. The protection of the forest allows them to open up to each other. Dimmesdale claims that he has once again found warmth in his heart, and Hester gains her womanly spark and glow back. They find joy again in nature because the forest holds no judgment or restraints over them. Hester’s house, located on the outskirts of town,...

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